Last fall Dr. Peter Sarnow and a team of Stanford University scientists reported that the hepatitis C virus needs a specific microRNA, named miR-122, in order to replicate in cultured liver cells. When the scientists inactivated the microRNA, the amount of hepatitis C virus RNA was reduced by approximately 80 percent. The discovery was widely heralded for its potential to develop new antiviral agents against hepatitis C, the most common blood-borne viral infection in the United States, affecting more than 2.5 million Americans and a staggering 170 million people worldwide. The best treatment regimens now available are difficult, expensive, laden with serious side effects and effective in only half the cases.
Dr. Sarnow discusses the most recent findings in this work on April 5 at Experimental Biology 2006 in San Francisco. His presentation is part of the scientific program of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
MicroRNAs, or miRNAs for short, are small RNA molecules that regulate genes in many plant and animal species. Although miRNAs were not discovered until the mid-1990, a growing number of studies suggest that over 300 human genes encode microRNAs and that these microRNAs may control gene expression for as much as a third of the human genome, acting as key regulators of processes as diverse as early development, cell proliferation and cell death, and cell differentiation. Some miRNAs are located throughout the body, while others are found only in specific tissue. The miRNA whose surprising new role was discovered by Dr. Sarnow and his colleagues is located only in the liver. The Sarnow team found that miR-122 binds to a specific noncoding binding region in virus, called target 5’ NCR. This is the first example of an animal RNA that interacts with its target 5’ NCR, and opens an interesting possibility that other viral 5’ NCRs are similarly targeted by different miRNAs.
Sarah Goodwin | EurekAlert!
Maelstroms in the heart
22.02.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Dynamik und Selbstorganisation
Decoding the structure of the huntingtin protein
22.02.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie
Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...
For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.
In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.
But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...
Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.
The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...
15.02.2018 | Event News
13.02.2018 | Event News
12.02.2018 | Event News
22.02.2018 | Life Sciences
22.02.2018 | Information Technology
22.02.2018 | Health and Medicine